Effects of raising the gas limit
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin proposed increasing the gas limit on the Ethereum network by 33% from the current 30 million GAS to 40 million GAS.
The proposal was shared in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session held by the Ethereum Foundation’s research team.
Although the exact implementation process has not been disclosed at this time, the proposal, if implemented, could increase the network’s transaction processing capacity, thereby reducing fees for users. However, validators require additional storage and computational resources, raising concerns about increased operational costs.
“There has been no increase in the gas cap for nearly three years, which is the longest period in the history of the protocol,” Buterin said. Raising the gas limit does not require any major updates to the network’s core code; it can be done by validators adjusting certain parameters in the node software.
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Background of soaring gas prices
“Gas” is a type of fuel required for transactions and smart contract execution on the Ethereum network, and users consume it to execute transactions. As of January 2024, the average gas price is approximately $1.89 per transaction, and the more complex the transaction, such as in DeFi operations, the higher the gas cost.
Each Ethereum block has an upper limit on the amount of transactions that can be processed, which is called the “gas limit.” If many users transact at the same time, they will have to pay higher gas fees due to limited capacity. However, raising the gas cap will increase the amount of transactions processed per block, meaning users won’t have to compete for as high gas prices as before, resulting in lower fees.
Last December, when Ethereum’s Layer 2 (L2) network hit record usage, calls for an increase in gas caps grew.
Jesse Pollak, head of protocol at Coinbase and developer of the layer 2 blockchain Base, supports Buterin’s proposal, suggesting the gas cap could be raised to 45 million Gwei.
About gas units
GAS is a unit of calculation processing required for transaction processing and smart contract execution on the Ethereum network. Gwei is the currency unit of Ethereum. 1Ether = 1,000,000,000 Gwei, and is mainly used to express the gas price (fee per unit of gas in a transaction).
▶️Virtual currency glossary
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